Truth about chemicals, fruit

This refers to Ruchika M. Khanna’s “Bitter truth about fruit” (Spectrum, May 28). It was quite an eye-opener that made us aware of the noxious effects of chemicals being used to ripen fruits artificially.

It is a pity that man in his avarice is harming and crippling his fellow beings. There was an Abou Ben Adhem who served, loved and respected human beings without expecting anything in return.

However, here people have forgotten ethics. They have become money-minded and fleece customers by charging exorbitant prices and sell diseased things.

Fruit is an essential part of our diet but if it is to affect one’s health adversely, one will think twice before consuming it.

It is heartening to know that the agricultural universities are doing their best to educate traders against the use of chemicals. But that is not enough. The need of the hour is to implement and enforce the provisions of the Food Adulteration Act stringently to safeguard the interests of the consumers.

Traders found guilty should be taken to task without mercy. Their licences should be cancelled and an astronomical fine should be imposed on them.



Incorrect diagnosis

This refers to “Matter of life and death” by Pushpa Girimaji (Spectrum, May 28). It reminded me of January 1979 when I was doing my post graduation in gynaecology at Amritsar Medical College.

I was through with my night duty, but I waited for my colleague who was conducting a delivery. She insisted that I go but somehow I did not. The woman delivered a baby and my colleague told the nurse to take it away as it was “dead”. The woman was a case of pre-relampsia.

However, my sixth sense made me rush after the nurse and I caught hold of the baby by the ankle and tapped its back. The baby cried and this whole process took just three minutes.

In the second incident, a foetus was declared dead by my senior post graduation student. The woman was in labour and this doctor diagnosed it as a case of obstructed labour with a dead foetus. I examined the woman out of curiosity and could hear the foetal heart sounds. The woman delivered a normal, healthy baby. A doctor must confirm the diagnosis before taking the patient into confidence.

Dr B. K. SANDHU, Zirakpur

Left more safe

H. Kishie Singh in his write-up (Saturday Extra, May 27) contends that the rear right-hand seat in a car is the safest, but the accidents witnessed daily tell a different tale.

Sitting at the right side would entail entry and exit virtually in the middle of the road, which is totally unsafe.

Even buses have entry and exit doors at the left side, which is safer under the “keep to the left” regime that we follow in India.

Rules, therefore, rightly provide that a VIP travelling in a car should occupy the left-hand rear seat. The primary object of the rules is to ensure the VIP’s safety in a mishap. His convenience to return the salute or greetings is only secondary.

C. L. SEHGAL, Jalandhar

Naushad’s magic

The monograph on music director Naushad (Spectrum, May 14) deserves to be praised.

It was an uphill task for Naushad to persuade classical singers D.V. Paluskar and Amir Khan Sahib to sing for Baiju Bawra and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib to sing for Mughal-e-Azam.

It all happened due to Naushad’s devotion and sincerity towards his work. If he was master of composing romantic and tragic songs, ghazals, qawwalis, bhajans, etc, he was also at ease while composing Holi songs — Khelo rang hamarae sang ... (Aan) Holi ayi re Kanhayee ... (Mother India), Tan ranglo aji man ranglo (Kohi-i-noor).

C.R. JINDAL, Chandigarh

Tiger sighting at Pench

Usha Bande’s experience (Spectrum, June 11) of two nights and days spent in the Pench Tiger Reserve is one of the most refreshing nature narratives that I have read after a long time. Her observations are penetrating and have that joy of innocence which comes with the first wildlife excursion for all of us. And what luck to end it with that grand photograph of a magnificent specimen of our National Animal.

However, it is sad that eco-tourism operatives should pass fantasy for fact and sow misinformation in young minds, such that Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book in the cottage at Pench shown in the photograph. The Jungle Book was put o paper under the roof of Naulakha (named after another Indian fable) built by Caroline and Rudyard across the oceans in Vermont, USA.

Why persist with the fiction of 45 tigers at Pench when the Government of India itself refuses to rebut the more widely accepted figure of 10-15 tigers only?

The do’s and don’ts for eco-tourism specifically prohibit log-fires in the open such as in instant case because one sudden gust of wind can carry a spark to ignite a forest inferno. And to step out of the tourist lodge, to look for tiger pugs in the mud of a water hole, that too by night, is a criminal breach of trust of the safety of tourists. It could well have been Usha Bande’s last walk.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh




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